The government of Barbados will offer out for concession, internationally, the already corporatised Bridgetown Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA), while retaining ownership. Discussions with the private sector arm of the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, have already taken place in order to seek a concessionaire.
The reason appears to be the need for costly infrastructure work and the concessionaire will be expected to deliver almost 30,000 square metres of terminal space. 20 to 25 per cent of the shares in GAIA would be available to workers as well as the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
The government may look to how airports have been privatised in Puerto Rico (San Juan) and in Jamaica (Kingston and Montego Bay) and will note that in both cases Mexican airport operators (ASUR and GAP respectively) are involved.
In April 2015 the Nuevo Pudahuel consortium of AdP (now Groupe ADP) (45%), Vinci Airports (40%) and the Italian civil engineer Astaldi (15%) was awarded the contract to operate, manage and develop Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benítez Airport including the funding, design and construction of a new 175,000sqm terminal which will increase the airport’s capacity to 30 million passengers. Astaldi was tasked with executing building works in a 50:50 share with Vinci Construction. Astaldi’s only other airport sector interest is in MONDIAL, which holds the concession on the international terminal of the Milas-Bodrum Airport in Turkey through Astaldi Concessioni.
Now it appears that Astaldi, a heavily-indebted company (USD2.3 billion), faces a hostile 65% takeover by Italian construction firm Salini Impregilo, which would involve the sale of Astaldi’s stake in the Santiago airport (EUR225 million). It could go to the existing shareholders (traffic growth is strong, averaging around 10% per annum over the last three years), or there could be a separate entity coming into the mix although it would be expected to provide a construction input. Vinci would not to be left alone with that responsibility.
Also in Chile, the civil aviation authority, DGAC, awarded the concession for Arica Chacalluta Airport to the Sacyr-Agunsa consortium as the most “attractive” offer. The airport management transition will start on 19-Apr-2019 and will occur over 180 months, a period in which construction valued at EUR73 million will commence. The project will increase airport capacity to 1.1 million passengers per annum and includes terminal expansion, doubling it in size; apron expansion; and construction of a new ATC tower.
At the end of January 2019, Peru’s Transport Ministry, through the Private Investment Promotion Agency (Proinversión) a state agency with the mandate to promote the participation of private investors in public infrastructure, announced the country’s group III airport infrastructure modernisation project is budgeted at USD600 million and includes 30-year concessions for the following airports:
- Juan Francisco Carle Airport;
- Huanuco Airport;
- Jaen Shumba Airport;
- Ilo Airport;
- Chimbote Airport;
- Rioja Juan Simons Vela Airport;
- Tingo Maria Airport;
- Yurimaquas Moisés Benzaquén Airport
All eight of these airports are very small regional/local airports requiring subsidy. As such, the process is being marketed as under a “co-financed unsolicited” project structure.